You may have heard that POWDR Corp wants to build an indoor recreation facility at Gorgoza Park. It would be called Woodward Park City. The Gorgoza Park area currently includes a sledding hill that lies between Summit Park and Pinebrook. You’ve likely seen it on your right, as you drive down I-80 from Parley’s Summit.
The Park Record has reported that, “According to the application, Woodward Park City would include a nearly 52,000-square-foot indoor action-sports center, equipped with indoor trampolines, ramps, foam pits, pump tracks, concrete skate park and a digital media studio. Other amenities would include a food court, lounge and coffee house, and party room.”
Previously, this development was planned near the parking lot of PCMR, but of course that is now probably not an option. So, it appears they are trying to find another location to host it. POWDR Corp owns the land currently occupied by the Gorgoza sledding hill. POWDR signed a development agreement with Summit County in 1999 that enabled them to build an outdoor recreation facility that includes the sledding hill. Now it appears they are trying to move forward and build a 50,000 square foot recreation facility.
Sweet. Parkites love their recreation.We also love coffee and parties… which both fit with the description of the Woodward facility provided in the Park Record. There’s only one problem. The original development agreement never seems to contemplate an indoor recreation facility. The development agreement talks about an indoor lodge, but that’s it. In the agreement in a section entitled Project Description, it says “Gorgoza park will offer a variety of non-motorized outdoor recreational activities that may include: snow tubing with up to 5 tube tows with up to four lanes per tow; snowplay; snowboarding accessed via a chair lift with a terrain park and two half pipes; snowblades and skiing; ice rink and skating; snowshoe and ski trails; winter alpine slide rides; toboggan and luge/bob rides; all terrain carts and thrill sleds; a climbing wall; a skate park and an all terrain skateboard area; BMX and mountain bike trails; alpine slide rides, and other uses consistent with the mountain outdoor recreation setting.”
It seems POWDR may be relying on that last part of the last sentence to try and push this thru. That last sentence concludes … ” and other uses consistent with the mountain outdoor recreation setting.” So, “other uses” must include building a 50,000 square foot INDOOR facility to do all the things that were supposed to be OUTDOOR per the original development agreement.
In our opinion, it seems that POWDR is trying to take an agreement that allowed it to have OUTDOOR skating, BMX trails, half pipes for skiing/boarding, trails, etc. and move that INSIDE. However, the problem is that INSIDE requires a building. That recreation building doesn’t seem to be included in the original development agreement. If ti’s not in the development agreement, it doesn’t have a right to be built.
I do know some people think this facility would be great for Park City. I can see their argument that it would increase sales taxes and provide our kids with another facility to use. However, if it’s such a good idea, it should go through the development process as a change to the existing development agreement and not as an additional permit. A change to the agreement would likely encourage much more vetting of the idea than a conditional use permit would provide.
I also know that citizens are getting worked up over the proposed building’s height (48 feet). I know others are getting worked up over the traffic impact of the facility. However, I believe those arguments attack the trees but miss the forest.
We as citizens should decide whether the proposed development is inline with the original agreement. If not, then we should ask that the Snyderville Planning Commission and Summit County treat this as a change to the agreement. Then we can debate whether the new development makes sense in it entirety, given what we know now. Otherwise we are debating the nuances while missing the broader picture.
Personally, I’d love to have outdoor additions to the property, which the agreement allows. I would use an outdoor ice skating rink. I have neighbors who would use the outdoor BMX track. I’m sure there are other outdoor uses which would fit the space and agreement.
But a Gigantor Black Diamond Gym doesn’t seem like it fits the description.
Here is the original development agreement. I’d love to hear if readers think I’ve missed the boat and somehow this agreement allows a 48 foot tall building spanning 52,000 square feet.
I don’t think so… and I’m hopeful our county officials will look at the original intent of the agreement in allowing any future development.